JMM Record company
In the footsteps of a Macedonian master
Geoffrey Norris reviews
In a piano recital so rich in imagination and finesse, it is perhaps gratuitous to single out individual pleasures. Simon Trpceski's BBC Lunchtime Concert of Chopin and Liszt was an unalloyed joy, but there was one moment of especially haunting beauty.It came in the third of Chopin's Waltzes Op 70, where Trpceski floated the theme weightlessly on a quietly rippling stream of sound. The effect was spellbinding. No words can do it justice.
The more one hears Trpceski, the more one appreciates how closely he identifies with the distinctive soul of the music he is playing. This was equally evident a few days earlier at a concert in his native Skopje.
The programme began with a foretaste of the works he was to play at Wigmore Hall, but then shifted focus, because he yielded the limelight to some younger musicians, with whom he played as duettist, accompanist or as part of an ensemble.
When Trpceski first made his mark here in 2000, I was probably not alone in being shamefully unaware of other Macedonian musical talent, but this concert exposed some winning examples of it.
With two of his pupils, Andrej Naunov and Edita Hadzi-Hamza, he played some of Grieg's Norwegian Dances, both of the younger pianists revealing the fusion of sensibility and technique that is a hallmark of their teacher.
Two promising singers, the baritone Goran Nacevski and soprano Irena Krsteska, performed songs by Grieg and Dvorák. Trombonist Viktor Ilieski played a transcription of Schubert's Serenade and, with panache, a concerto by Vladislav Blazhevich.
Notably impressive were three violinists, the 16-year-old Sofija Nikoska playing the Ponce/Heifetz Estrellita with eloquence of line, and boldly tackling the stratospheric Paganini/Kreisler La Campanella.
Gjorgi Dimcevski was dazzling in that Vengerov favourite, Bazzini's La Ronde des lutins. Kliment Todoroski was outstanding, not only for his confident stage manner but also for the tonal shading, sensitivity and élan he brought to Elgar's Salut d'amour and the Falla/Kreisler Spanish Dance.
All the artists joined in a final encore of a rip-roaring arrangement of a Macedonian folksong by Damir Imeri.
Trpceski embraced the spirit of this diverse repertoire with exceptional insight, just as each of the Chopin polonaises, mazurkas and waltzes in his solo programme encapsulated specific moods, and the two Liszt Soirées de Vienne had that enveloping atmosphere and consummate artistry which mark him out as one of the great musicians of our day.